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Friday, June 29, 2007


Video: The opening of the first iPhone in Anniston


I was a dummy

I got used as a dummy. One of the guys in line wanted to buy two phones and after I was finally allowed inside, he drafted me to stand with him and be his brother, er nephew, I mean cousin. The rules say only one phone per person. He wanted two, so I had to be his other person.
I didn't really mind and the store staff didn't seem to either.

I did get to use one of the demo phones for a few minutes and the resolution on the screen is incredible. The touch screen functions are a little frustrating, but I'm sure you can learn to use it.

Video to come shortly.


It's all over.

The last guy just went inside. They seem to have plenty left. I'm just not sure it was worth the wait for these folks. Oh well. At least they seem to have had fun.

The video is taking forever, but I will upload it later tonight. For now I think I am done. After I take off the reporter hat and go inside and play with the phone myself.




I have always liked my Motorola RAZR, but I got it out of my pocket to check the time and immediately felt like a kid with a Viewmaster standing next to a HDTV. I have no intention of getting an iPhone until I get an iBudget, but for just a few seconds I thought about it.

So far, everything is going smoothly. There are about six people left in line.

I'll upload a video as soon as YouTube cooperates.


P.S. I've made the last three posts sitting on the sidewalk. Not allowed inside you know. I digress.


At last

The staff at the store let the first group of eight people into the store at 5:59.
Inside the staff was seen setting up a display and manning the registers.


Numero Uno

The first iPhone in Anniston.

"My God it's beautiful," Watkins said.
After obliterating the shrink wrap he turned it on, saw the Apple logo, a globe and then a message saying he had to activate it before it would do anything.


We're number 2! We're number 2!

Audio interview with Richard Watkins, the second person in line.


Interview with the number one man Dontrel Lemon



Towards the back of the line are Harrison Wigley of Oxford, and Ben E., of Anniston. They are about 16 or 17 people deep in the line. I asked them what happens if the store runs out of phones before they get their turn.
They surprisingly said they didn't care.
As soon as they get the iPhones, they are going straight on Ebay.
"There's not many stocks you can get that would double your money automatically," they said.
The duo sat and waited 26 hours for PlayStation 3's to come out. They sold the game systems as well, pocketing nearly $1000 profit for each unit. They hope to sell the phones for twice what they pay.
Today they have chairs, drinks and a tarp in case it rains.
"I was a scout," Ben said. "Always prepared."


At last a line

We have a line.
There are about 15 people lined up outside the AT&T store.
First in line is Dontrel Lemon of Anniston.
Second is Richard Watkins of Jacksonville.
The store closed at 4:30 and will reopen t 6.
I'll try to have audio and more pictures up in a minute. -aj


Pictures from the AT&TStore

On the other side of this reflection, they will eventually sell iPhones. Honest.
This is where I have to stand to take pictures.

I was allowed to take a picture of this sign.

More later.


Only AT&T and Apple can sell iPhones

Turns out there is a good reason Best Buy didn't have any phones. Only AT&T and Apple Stores are allowed to sell them.

There are already plenty of iPhones and accessories on Ebay.


No line at AT&T yet

As of noon today, no one is waiting for an iPhone at the AT&T Wireless store on Quintard in Anniston. They have a sign on the door, which I will post later, a large display inside and a few other signs here and there.
The big display has a TV screen that demos what the phone can do.
Members of the media are not allowed to talk to customers or take pictures inside, so I am told, but we are allowed to wait outside or take pictures through the glass windows.
The store manager was very nice, but he said he was not allowed to comment.
They will have iPhones, they will close at 4:30 to reopen and 6 p.m. and they will stay open until 10 p.m. is all he would say.
I heard one customer ask a clerk about an iPhone, waited until he went outside and asked if he planned to buy one.
He said he wasn't, but was curious about the buzz.
I'll try again later, from the outside.


Mall kiosk will not have any iPhones

I just stopped by the AT&T kiosk at the Quintard Mall where I found out that they will not be carrying any of the phones at first for "security reasons."

When I tried to ask more about the security, the man at the kiosk politely gave me the number for a PR type over in Atlanta.

He did say that people can order iPhones from the kiosk and they will be delivered to the buyer's home. But where's the fun in that?

I'll give the PR number a call and post what I hear.

On to Circuit City next.



No iPhones at Best Buy

When I walked into the Best Buy at the Oxford Exchange and asked if they had iPhones, the guy I asked had to check with two other guys and a computer to see if they were getting any.
When he had to ask, I knew they weren't getting them.
Fortunately, there was no line for the phones that they don't have.



Georgians get phones an hour early

I just ran across an online discussion forum where people from Birmingham were planning to meet up and go to a store together. Through their online discussion, the idea changed into driving to Georgia to get the iPhone sooner. This is getting serious.


The best line I have heard about the iPhone frenzy

This is from JOHN MURRELL who writes Good Morning Silicon Valley for the San Jose Mercury News:

So what I'm hoping is for Paris Hilton to suddenly decide to join the line for an iPhone in Manhattan, and the two incredibly dense media clouds assigned to those respective stories will find themselves pulled into each other and ripped apart by gravitational forces like colliding galaxies.

Good stuff. -aj


My assignment and a fashion problem

So yesterday my editor asks me to go blog about the iPhone's release. He said find out when it's coming out (6 p.m. Friday) and go blend in with the line of people (if there is a line) and interview folks about why they are waiting in line for a $500 phone.
In places like New York, there have been people in line for days who have blogs, here and here.
I don't know that we have any hardcore iCrazies here, but if we do I aim to find out.

One dilemma so far is what to wear to fit in. My first thought was glasses with tape, too tight, too short jeans and some cheesy tucked in T-shirt with no belt. Then I remembered the millions that Apple has spent on hip, flashy, trendy ads. Remember the "Hi I'm a Mac. Hi I'm a PC commercials?" I guess I should just wear "cool" clothes. Oh ... and a big, honking Bluetooth ear piece.

Check back for more posts.
-Andy Johns, mobile reporter

Legal jazz: As with most blogs, there are plenty of external links on this page that take you to sites that are not connected to the Star in any way. We can't be held responsible for the content of those sites.


NY Times iPhone Diary

This is a pretty funny video from New York Times gadget guru David Pogue. As one of a very few people to get a test model of the phone, he presents the upsides and downsides of the iPhone.
More later. -aj